Fiji, the invisible men

Fiji: The Invisible Men

Fiji: The Invisible Men

Thursday, 3 June: Fiji test team named:

15. Dan Rawaqa, 14. Jim Nagusa, 13. Saula Radidi, 12. Rupeni Caucaunibuca, 11. Sireli Bobo, 10. Waisea Luveniyali, 9. Emosi Vucago, 8. Jone Qovu, 7. Jim Nakaidawa, 6. Anthony Wise, 5. Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 4. Seko Kalou, 3. Deacon Manu, 2. Talemaitoga Tuapati, 1. Campese Ma’afu. Reserves: Vili Veikoso, Graham Dewes, Rupeni Nasiga, Samu Bola, Vitori Buatava, Ropate Ratu, Nemani Nadolo.

I just wonder whether there’ll be more than one team actually playing in the test match in Canberra this Saturday, apparently it features our beloved Wallabies?

You wouldn’t think so? All I read about in the papers and on the net is potential Wallaby permutations. Who’s gonna be the fullback? Who’s gonna be the five eighth? Who can pass and who can’t?

I heard on the grapevine that there was actually a Fijian team involved in the match but I’m not 100% on that just yet. That’s what the advertising says…..

Maybe its because the news media can’t pronounce their names?

Robbie says that you can’t take them too lightly or they’ll burn you. Bullshit. Deep down we all know what the result is going to be. Well, we think we do.

It would be a national disaster if we lost but looking at the Flying Fijians (yes, they’ve actually named a squad if you’re interested) it’s probably unlikely.

Sure, there’s a core of professional players amongst them, not the least Rupeni Caucaunibuca, Deacon Manu and Sireli Bobo but most are blokes who play in Suva or Nadi and won’t be able to keep up with the pace of the game.

No sign of Moses Rauluni, Nicky Little, Seremaia Bai, Norman Ligairi, Akapusi Qera or the new sensation from Toulon Gabiriele Lovobalavu.

This is a shame really because a Fijian team full of all their professional players would give the first up Wallabies a decent sort of contest.

I suppose most of them play in the Northern Hemisphere and are between seasons so obviously they’re having a much needed the break.

The front row looks solid enough to compete with the Brumbies trio, albeit some would say the Wallabies unit is a ‘B’ selection (Alexander at loosehead notwithstanding).

Deacon Manu, an experienced Llanelli Scarlets and Waikato Chiefs front rower will be holding the scrum up with Graham Dewes (from Counties-Manakau) and hooker Vili Veikoso (Suva) is a current international and no slouch.

They’ll give their opposition a challenge but as a unit the Fijian scrum will be under huge pressure and on the back foot.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Salesi Ma’afu’s bro’ Campese (yes, really….for those non-Sydney types who don’t know him) gets to pack down against his sibling or not.

Nemani Nadolo, a Junior Waratahs winger formerly known as Ratu Nasiganiyavi (and Lote’s cuzz) is 193cm and 123kg and recently signed with Bourgoin.

He’s a wrecking machine when he’s wound up and put into the right position although he never seemed to reach his full potential over here.

Other professional players include winger Timoci Nagusa, who plays for Ulster, Iliesa Keresoni, another bloody winger from Saracens and a reliable kicker and Jone Qovu, the lock from Racing Metro.

Sam Domoni their coach was right – he said he’s got too many wingers. That may necessitate Caucau playing in the centres (mooted by Deans) but the coach refuses to speculate on this.

Lets face it, the Flying Fijians will lose it in the set piece and won’t have the stamina to compete for the whole game. This is not their No 1 side by any means.

It’d be great to see some of their backs get an opportunity to play their normal expansive fashion but I doubt whether they’ll be winning much pill to allow this.

Lance says Wallabies by at least 38 points.

Flying Fijian Squad:

Campese Ma’afu, Viliame Veikoso, Deacon Manu, Aseri Tuirabe Koroilagavatu, Dominiko Maiwiriwiri Waqaniburotu, Jone Qovu Nailoko, Jimilai Naikadawa, Asaeli Boko, Ratu Emosi Vucago, Waisea Sedre Luveniyali, Sireli Bobo, Rupeni Caucaunibuca, Ropate Ratu, Timoci Nagusa, Ratu Taniela Rawaqa Maravunawasawasa, Graham Dewes, Talemaitoga Tuapati, Alefoso Yalayalatabua, Nikola Matawalu, Malakai Samu Bola Volau, Sekonaia Kalou, Nemani Nadolo, Iliesa Keresoni, Saula Radidi

  • Bobas

    I think the Ma’afu brothers will pack against each other.

    I wish we had campo though.

  • Antony

    Really really looking forward to Nadolo getting some game time and hope he hurts the wallaby backline..this guy was top tryscorer in Junior world cup for us a few years ago and he can’t get a run with the tahs,,bloody rebels should have signed him on..

    • Ian

      Would have been nice to see him in the Gold, but Oh Well..

      • piggies 7

        thats a real shame…rebels should of snapped he and beau robinson up. so much potential

  • Steve

    You also forgot the reigning french top 14 player of the year napolioni nalaga, the entire back row in netani talei sisa kayoambole and apolisi satala and their best centres kameli ratovou and seru rabeni

    • Lance Free

      Or Vilimoni Delasau or Maleli Kunavore or etc etc etc

  • Jun

    Fiji Will win. Watch out wallabies for some bone crushing tackles……….

  • Mart

    Antony..Spot on about Nadolo..Very dissapointing for aussie rugby. When he played for the Tahs in the trials he carved up too. Massive missed opportunity for Rebels and Tahs bench.
    Steve.. Exactly what I was going to say. Nalaga’s a freak, would’ve been great to see him play. Why no run? top 14’s finished his team won.

  • Pedro

    A lot of those players were let out at the commentators request.

  • Ian

    Is it just Tasmania that doesn’t get coverage of the match until 11pm? Not even on Fox.

    Cause if it is live in NSW and QLD and not Tas I am going to damn well burn down the channel 7 buildings!!

    How could round robin afl have first pick above national sport?? It is a bloody Joke! I am a proud Tasmanian, but even this is 50 years behind the times.

    • Ian

      Just checked the fox site, It is on Fox 3 Thank heavens!!

      for some reason the online generic tv guide doesn’t even show fox3, only fox1 and fox2.

      It is rough living down here, AFL is king (or slightly camp Queen) in Tas, Scrawny bogans rule the streets here brother! Every second guy has a hyphenated vowel after their name (snapp-a, steve-o, shagg-a, bazz-a, tomm-o) Luckilly my name is not vowel friendly, tho many in Tassie have tried the occasional, Ian-O. The AFL bogans are everywhere man, get me out, send help! Its the anti rugby conspiracy man!

      • Lance Free

        Apparently it’s a democracy in Australia and you’re able to choose where you live Ian-O. I think you need to take a good long, hard, look at yourself……

      • Ian

        Remove the Bogans, and Tassie is a beautiful spot tho! But thats off topic.

      • Robson

        I think there are six rugby teams in Tas, or there used to be.

    • Mate – they’re even showing it here in Pomlandia!

  • Lance Free

    The squad is fluid and has changed since originally named. Anthony Wise (Lautoka) and Vitori Buatava (Gold Coast) are included in the test 22.

    Caucau is at 12 and Ma’afu starting in the front row.

  • Jun

    Lance watch out for the Fijian Number 12. Not his usual position though as he usually plays on the wing but he is so versatile, cunning and also such a slippery customer, also strong in defence. I bet that the Aussies will have a good run for their money. Anyways all the best to both teams and congrats to the victors.


Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

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